One trend that has sort of passed me by is stuffing desserts with other desserts.  You know, brownie-stuffed-this or Oreo-stuffed-that.  As much as I enjoy indulgent desserts, I just don’t feel the need to stuff something that is already good with something else to make it better.  However, some time about two years ago, a reader emailed and asked if I could make a homemade version of a cookie she had seen around the web that involved apple cider and some caramel filling.  It’s been quite a long time and though I have long since forgotten the details of exactly had asked for, the general idea has been simmering in the back of my mind. Cider.  Cookies.  Caramel.

When I recently had the urge to finally give apple cider caramels a try, the idea of the cookie resurfaced.  I thought a browned butter cookie dough would be a nice pairing with the apple cider caramel.  The resulting dough is the perfect combination of chewy with a slight crunch at the edges, and it the caramel filling without overpowering.  I knew for sure they were a success when I served them to friends and family over the weekend, and then watched as one person after another went back to have a second cookie.  (And some, even more.  Don’t worry, guys, I won’t tell.)

  • Yield about 20 cookies


1 cup (8 oz.) unsalted butter
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. coarse sea salt, plus more sprinkling
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. greek yogurt or sour cream
20 apple cider caramels (about 1-inch squares), unwrapped


  • 01

    Place the butter in a medium to large skillet over medium heat.  Melt the butter completely.  Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the butter foams, bubbles slightly, and begins to brown.  Continue whisking until the butter is evenly browned, being careful not to burn.  Remove from the heat and let cool.

  • 02

    Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugars and the brown butter.  Mix on medium speed until well blended and smooth.  Blend in the egg and egg yolk, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla and greek yogurt.  With the mixer on low speed, blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.

  • 03

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Use a medium dough scoop (about 2 tablespoons) to scoop a portion of cookie dough.  Press an indentation into the center of the dough ball to create a bowl shape.  Place a caramel in the center and pinch together the edges of the cookie dough over the top to completely seal it in the center.  (I then like to sort of “rough up” the surface of my cookies by making tiny pinches in the top part of the dough.  It yields a more irregular, visually appealing finished product.) Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and chill the shaped cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  • 04

    Place the shaped cookies on the baking sheets lined with parchment paper, at least 2-3 inches apart.  Bake until the cookies are golden brown and set, rotating the pans halfway through, about 14 minutes total.  Let cool briefly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool further.  Serve slightly warm for best gooey caramel effect.